Monday, April 2, 2018

The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury

Happy Monday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Jamey Bradbury's debut, The Wild Inside.

Tracy is never more comfortable than when she's out in the woods or running with her dogs. Now eighteen, she's finally old enough to run the Iditarod, but after getting expelled from school over fighting, her father has grounded her all but forbidding her to do the things she loves most. Even worse, since her mother's death he tells her there's no money for the fees involved in the race anyway. Frustrated, Tracy takes to the woods where she's attacked by a stranger. She falls, hitting her head and blacking out, remembering nothing but the look on the man's face. 

Later, when the same man stumbles out of the woods bleeding from an obvious stab wound, Tracy can't recall if she's the one who did it or not. Fearing the repercussions, she again takes to the woods to investigate only this time she finds a pack full of cash - enough to pay for her Iditarod registration and more. 

Tracy has more than enough secrets to keep and a new boarder at the farm adds to that pressure. But the boarder has secrets of his own and Tracy isn't sure if she and her family are entirely safe. 

This book was not at all what I expected.

First, there's the voice and style - no quotation marks (we've talked about that before), which makes determining dialogue between characters and internal dialogue on the part of Tracy, our narrator, difficult to say the least. Tracy herself has a very distinct voice that really does ring through the story as clear as a bell.

But Tracy herself is, as we soon learn, bordering on feral! Her parents can't control her, never have been able to apparently. They say it's because of the circumstances of her birth, which seems to be true considering she's more comfortable around the family's dogs than other people. Any attempts at restraining her or even punishing her (her grounding for being expelled, for example) only seems to make things worse.

But Tracy does connect with one person - the new boarder at the farm. Jesse Goodwin shows up just after the stranger Tracy may or may not have attacked in the woods is brought to the hospital. Tracy's father had advertised a shed for rent and Jesse is what turns up. Money is tight for Tracy's family since her mother's death, so Jesse offers much needed help around the property. But, as mentioned, Jesse is hiding things and Tracy is determined to find out what.

This is an odd story - a thriller with offbeat hints of almost supernatural aspects. One that's hard to sum up and even harder to categorize even simply for the purpose of identifying the kind of reader who will be drawn to the story.

I did love the setting and the vivid imagery used to describe Tracy's surroundings and I think Bradbury is a fantastic storyteller. But I am a little confused by what seems to be an attempt to pigeonhole the book as a thriller in the more traditional sense. Nothing in the book's synopsis in any way prepared me for the more odd elements and I fear a hard core thriller fan will be equally confused.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Jamey Bradbury and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Amazed at SIS Medical Records Management said...

This might be the most unique book I've read in a long time. Unique can either have good or bad connotations and, although I'm leaning towards good, I'm not 100% convinced with this story.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of this tour.